I knew on our journey through Germany, we’d need to find ourselves deep in a forest, looking out from a mountaintop over a valley below. I grew up on German fairytales told by my German Oma in her German accent. I had this idea in my mind of what the German countryside looked like. And accurate or not, I was hoping to find it.
That’s usually a risky travel game to play. I’ve found the less expectation the better, as I’m more likely to be surprised and enjoy what a country truly has to offer. But I couldn’t help but indulge myself here – and I actually found what I was looking for! The German Alps are said to pale in comparison to some of their neighboring countries. But I’ll welcome the challenge to compare. Berchtesgaden Land was simply stunning.
We arrived in Berchtesgaden Land via Austria and our car climbed the steep mountain roads to our rental in Shönau am Königesee. We accidentally pulled down the driveway of a farm / restaurant nestled at the base of a mountain which turned out to be the first “most stunning view I’ve ever seen in my life” of the day. Then we pulled into our actually driveway where we saw the second “most stunning view I’ve ever seen in my life”. For a week straight – ah, I love slow travel – the most incredible views. And without another soul in sight, it felt like we stumbled upon the best kept secret.
And my daughter really took to it. Marching her little legs right up the hillside from the moment we got there. Each day we’d wake up to find cows and sheep having breakfast not far from us (amazingly without the smell of a farm). We’d take in more mountain views, and then drive down into the valley to explore. A morning was all we needed to be away before we’d want to head back to our humble and humbling abode. We’d explore the wooded trails just steps from our door – including the gigantic slugs or Schnecken which were so fun for our daughter to watch – in the afternoons, then finish the day with homemade dinner on our deck.
Our apologies to every experience after this on our trip. We should have saved Berchtesgaden Land for last for it will always win out for us. We could have stayed there the entire time.